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What do you do with fat/lard/drippings?!

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aside from frying an egg or making gravy?! Everyone treats these things as gold, but i don't *really* know what to do with them on a daily basis so I toss them. sure, I'll use bacon fat in the recipe I'm making the bacon for and whatnot, but I cant think of a reason to save, say, seasoned chicken fat...

so what do I DO with these things? Maybe there are super elaborate, highly difficult dishes that I dont know about (and, truthfully, will probably never make...)

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  1. You can use chicken fat for making a roux for a chicken dish. If you are going to use it on chicken, the roux might as well taste like chicken.

    Some of the stuff, you will just have to throw away but do you know how to discard it? NO you don't run it down the drain! That will just get you a plumbing service charge eventually. Pour it into a container filled with paper towels. The paper towels will absorb it and when it is cool, you can toss it into the garbage.

    1. To make proper refried beans one must "greasar" los frijoles w/ either lard or bacon grease.

      1. Add chicken fat to rice.

        1. You can use chicken fat for anything chicken related: frying chicken, browning chicken cutlets, stir fries, etc. Beef fat can be used in the same way: searing beef for stew, searing a steak in a hot skillet, etc. To me, pork fat IS gold. I use it in biscuits & cornbread, gravies & sauces, add to a pot of veggies, cook a pan of fried potatoes & onions or squash & onions, refried beans, baked beans or add to bean soup. Make a warm bacon vinaigrette for a salad or warm potato salad. Fry up some pork chops or brown a pork tenderloin in bacon fat. There are a host of possibliities...

          1. Two words--bacon mayonnaise.

            http://cooklikeyourgrandmother.com/20...

            1 Reply
            1. re: MandalayVA

              Oh my - That looks like insane greatness!

            2. Corn bread

              1 Reply
              1. re: ipsedixit

                yes, indeed - bacon fat makes corn muffins simply delicious.

              2. When I do Zuni Chicken the drippings are so delicious I reserve them. I stir them in a jar placed in a bowl of ice until they become creamy and solid like butter. Then I use it like butter -- to sauté veggies and even to spread on bread. If you haven't had bruchetta grilled with that chickeny-citrusy butter you ain't had nuttin!

                I never throw out bacon fat either. We don't have bacon often but the fat keeps forever and adds flavor to homefries, braised cabbage, latkes, and so on.

                1 Reply
                1. re: rainey

                  You don't make the bread salad with the Zuni chicken? You're missing a real treat.

                2. OMG Now I've seen everything. Bacon vinaigrette candles that melt for a spinach salad dressing! Purchase or make your own. http://tastingtable.com/entry_detail/...

                  1. No need to toss it, there's nothing elaborate about its many uses.

                    Use good lard in place of butter or shortening in most any biscuit recipe, and in many cornbread recipes. It's also a great all-purpose fat. It is especially good for sauteing greens, in simmered or refried beans, and for the initial saute in braised poultry or meat dishes.

                    Basically anyplace a little meaty richness would be welcome, stop to think if non-hydrogenated lard or bacon fat might fit the bill.

                    1. ah, bacon fat sits in a jar next to the stove... sigh
                      - here's something good from Michael Bauer:
                      http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/m...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Cynsa

                        Although I grew up in a Southern house where the bacon dripping sat in a container by the range, I store mine in the fridge.